Last updated: 30 June 2002
Subject: re: Power for the ETX70 Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 21:58:34 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: G.D.Merrifield@exeter.ac.uk a lot of UK users hang out at the yahoo 4504 egroup... and report buying suitable adapters at Maplin (i don't have the spelling right, i'm sure). Try reading the archives (or using the search), or simply posting the question at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/ (one of the moderators -is- in London or thereabouts) have fun --dickAnd:
From: G.D.Merrifield@exeter.ac.uk (Gavin Merrifield) Thanks for the pointers! :-) I found Maplins site last night but didn't get a chance to look over it much. I've just been looking at their AC adaptors and I think this one would be suitable (from my limited knowledge :-) "GU09K 9V 500mA AC O/P PSU In Stock 9.99" http://www.maplin.co.uk/ I haven't seen my telescope yet (it arrived while I was at University) so I'm unsure what kind of connections there are on it apart from the space for the six AA batteries. Do you know if I can just plug it in to a port on the telescope or should I be thinking of sticking a different end on the adaptor? I have seen some pictures of the 70 with a 9V battery connector coming out of battery compartment but don't know if this is 'standered' or something I'd have to insert myself. I'm fairly compotent with electronics so any modifications wouldn't be too much of a hassle. Any help appreciated! :-) Cheers, :-) Gavin ------- G.D.Merrifield@exeter.ac.uk ----------------------------- Transformers: The Last Odyssey Episdoe IV.3 now online here: http://www.geocities.com/tlodyssey/index.htm -----------------------------Mike here: The ETX-70AT (at least the USA version) has a connector for the battery pack that is the same as a 9V connector. That is what you are seeing.
From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) > "GU09K 9V 500mA AC O/P PSU In Stock 9.99" > http://www.maplin.co.uk/ That's a pretty short description... is its output AC or DC? (i'm translating the "AC 9v O/P" pessimistically) You need DC. > Do you know if I can just plug it in to a port on the telescope or > should I be thinking of sticking a different end on the adaptor? The ETX70 does not have an external power socket (like the ETX90). > I have seen some pictures of the 70 with a 9V battery connector > coming out of battery compartment but don't know if this is > 'standered' or something I'd have to insert myself. The connector is "standard", and i think there's a notch in the battery compartment cover to let it pass through. That's what my ETX70 has. > I'm fairly compotent with electronics so any > modifications wouldn't be too much of a hassle. Some 9v adpaters even -have- the matching snap-connector. (this helps avoid polarity mistakes when you're wiring your own) The thing most adapters -don't- have is a 6 to 10 meter low-voltage wire between the wall-wart and the telescope's connector. So you should expect to want to extend that wire for convenience. The ETX70 can also accept 12v, but i wouldn't take it up to 15v. (and unregulated supplies rise to 15v and higher without a load) Regulated wall-lumps tend to cost 3 times the unregulated style. have fun --dick
Subject: #497 Cable kit Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 18:40:39 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (kfrazier) Will the 497 kit work with the ETX-70-AT. Keith FrazierMike here: The #497 will work. You'll need the #505 cable if you ever want to update it.
Subject: Power for the ETX70 Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 2:37:26 From: G.D.Merrifield@exeter.ac.uk (Gavin Merrifield) I've just bought a ETX70 and was had a few questions about powering it that I'm hoping you might be able to answer. I was thinking of using rechargable batteries on my ETX70 but I've read on your site that rechargable batteries don't deliver enough power on some of the larger ETX models. Is this a problem on the 70 or should I just stick with standered disposable batteries? Also do you know if the AC adaptor Meade have recently produced will have a UK varient available over here (I live in the UK) at some point? If not would it be alright for me to just buy the US adaptor and then just use a standered US to UK convertor on the plug end? Hope you can help. Cheers, :-) Gavin ---------- P.S. The site is ace and I'm looking forward to reading your book once it arrives!Mike here: Rechargable batteries can work but they still drain. Many people prefer using alternatives, either AC or a lead acid battery. See the Telescope Tech Tips page for several power supply ideas. As to the Meade adapter, have you checked with local dealers on this?
Thanks for the battery help. >As to the Meade adapter, have you checked with local dealers on this? Yeah, none of them are carrying a UK varient or the US one at the moment, which was why I was wondering about just getting the US one and sticking a converter on the end. It's my first 'proper' telescope so I'm trying very hard to avoid doing anything I'd regret to it! :-) Gavin
Subject: re: Meade ETX 70AT Sent: Friday, June 21, 2002 23:41:29 From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) To: firstname.lastname@example.org a slight twist to Mike's answer... [further down this page] although you cannot update the -programming- of the 494 (if your Autostar does not have a numeric keypad, it's a 494), you -can- update the Satellites, Asteroids, Comets, UserObjects and Tours with the Updater software. However, if you DO have a 494, and if you DON'T already have the 506 cable/converter set (you cannot home-build them), then i recommend buying a 495 Autostar (with numeric keypad), and buying building a 505 cable for it. The 495 can be bought for about the same price as a 506 cable. (www.ritzcamera.com, item 513951079 they don't -say- "495 autostar", but that's its picture... good luck --dick
Subject: Focusing Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2002 10:24:22 From: email@example.com (Tom Poulton) Just got a 60-AT and spotted it at an object about 100 feet away. As my eye approached the eyepiece, I could see the image and it appears focused. But, when I actually got down to the eyepiece, the image was VERY blurry. No focusing would fix it (I tried the focus knob to both extremes and could see and feel the lens moving so I know it is mechanically okay). I wear glasses and tried it with and without. Same result. Any suggestions?Mike here: When an image is "in focus" it appears sharp at the focal plane. That position can either be some distance back from the eyepiece or nearly at the edge of the eyepiece glass surface, depending upon the design of the eyepiece. The distance from the surface to the focal plane is known as "eye relief". You can "see" where the focal plane is by focusing a bright image to your eye and then holding a piece of paper behind the eyepiece and seeing the image projected onto the paper. Some users prefer wearing their glasses and others remove them. With short eye relief eyepieces, wearing glasses keeps the eye pretty far from the focal plane and so you don't see the entire field of view. The Moon is a good target right now; use the 25mm eyepiece that came with the telescope and focus on it. If you wear your glasses for distance vision, keep them on for the focus test.
Subject: below horizon Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 9:43:38 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve Kingsley) i just bought a etx-70at and when i try to see any of the deep space objects or even the planets, it says that they are below the horizon. during what season are they not below the horizon at night? thanks -kevin P.S. i love your web site, and i think it would be cool if you took some pictures of planets and other stuff using the etx-70at and then display it, to show people what can be seen with it. thanksMike here: Once you have set the Autostar for the proper location and your proper date, time, etc, it knows what is above the horizon. So if you are getting below-the-horizon messages, check those settings. But of course, you may be selecting objects that ARE IN FACT below the horizon. The only planets easily visible right now are Venus and Jupiter. Mars is sort of visible but don't expect much from the ETX-70AT. It sounds like you need some star charts or software. For info on what's visible, see some of the links on the Astronomy Links page. There are some photos using the ETX. See my ETX-70AT comments (linked from the top of the "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page. Also, see the various astrophotography galleries.
Subject: ETX 70AT v. NexStar 80 Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 8:45:36 From: email@example.com (Terry Dignan) IO am trying to decide between the EXT 70AT and the Nexstar 80. Will be used for celestial and terrestial viewing. Dont know enough to make a fully informed decision. Is the ability to easily turn and point the EXT by hand after disengaging an importgant factor. I am told that the Nexstar must always be pointed with the electronic controller. Is this important or not. also which one is the best as far as featrures and value. Thank you. Terry DignanMike here: There are times when it is easiest to just point the telescope by hand. Especially when the batteries die!
Subject: Meade ETX 70AT Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 22:21:49 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Harrison) Is it posable to update the Autostar for the Meade ETX 70AT using Mac OS X and Virtual PC 5 with Windows 95? - Robert HarrisonMike here: It is possible to update the Autostar #495 and #497 using that setup. But there is no update for the #494 Autostar, which is standard with the ETX-70AT.
Subject: ETX question Sent: Monday, June 17, 2002 17:29:07 From: SMckas2919@aol.com I want to buy my husband a telescope for his birthday. Is the Meade ETX-70AT a decent one? He is an amateur, but loves it. I got him a Meade telescope about 4 or 5 years ago and he loves it, but would like to get him a little better one. Don't know the model of the old one. Thanks in advance for any info you might have. Sarah McKasson "I myself have never been able to find out precisely what a feminist is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat" - Rebecca West, 1913 -Mike here: The ETX-70AT makes a fine GOTO telescope but his expectations of the views may not match what the ETX-70AT will deliver. It has limited magnification. I suggest you see my ETX-70AT comments (linked from the top of the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page).
Subject: digital camera Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 17:30:40 From: email@example.com (SLW) Thank you for your website on meade etx-70at telescope. I've really found it most informative. I'm particularly impressed by the photos you shot. I've a favor to ask. Can you please tell me how to take pictures of what I see through my telescope using a DIGITAL CAMERA instead of a standard SLR camera. I noticed you took the shots of the sun using a digital camera but couldn't figure out how you did it. Many thanks in advance. SLWMike here: For lots of info on using cameras (digital, film, video), see the Helpful Information --> Astrophotography page.
Subject: Handbox Compatibility Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 10:51:18 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Gressang) I have a ETX-60 with the 494 Autostar Hand box. Is the Autostar 497 hand box compatible with the ETX-60 and if so what advantages does it offer over the 494? Some day I wish to upgrade to an ETX-105 or 125 so if the 497 hand box is compatible I could buy it now and wouldn't have to buy one later. --- Marc Beaudry --- email@example.comMike here: See Meade's Autostar Update page for compatibility info (yes, the #497 works on the ETX-60AT model). The #497 gets you 30,000 objects (don't expect to see them all), a numeric keypad for data entry, and is updateable to new ROM versions using the Autostar Updater application on Meade's site.
Subject: 60 vs 70? Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 18:18:43 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kimberly Czopek) [bogus email address] Great site. What is the difference between the etx 60 and 70? Can't seem to find any current info on 60 but it's all over e-bay. thanksMike here: The ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT models are basically the same. One has a 60mm aperture and the other a 70mm. Both are 350mm focal length telescopes. The mounts are the same. The ETX-60AT has been discontinued.
Subject: Possible GoTo function on ETX70AT when in equatorial mount? Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 10:57:52 From: Fernando.Abalos@motorola.com (Abalos Fernando-QSWI2011) I am planning to buy a ETX70 to have a ultraportable scope to bring to see special astro-events in dark sites. Currently I have a 10" LX200 performing very well with a MX516 CCD camera. But it is mounted semi-fix in a balcony in poluted Madrid. Thanks to the technology and my patiente it is possible to meke very good pictures (I can post some if you are interested). However I suffer every time I see really clear and dark skys because I cannot bring my scope. So I am thinking in another scope more portable. I was reading the istruction manual of ETX70 and aparently it can perform what I am thinking. However I think that in polar mode, the software still helps you to align but it do not make GoTo. Is that correct? Do you recomend this scope or you think it is worth to go to the double priced ETX90 as minimum? Thanks very much Fernando MadridMike here: The Autostar provides GOTO and tracking in both Polar and Alt/Az mounting. The ETX-70AT makes a fine wide field instrument but is such a short focal length that you may find it disappointing for planet use. The longer focal length ETX-90 provides better planetary views.
Subject: RE: 60AT books Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 7:42:29 From: email@example.com (Tom Poulton) Not so shameless as you have been giving people free advice on this equipment for so long. When I got into this, I did a little research and your pages helping people by email jumped out at me as another great reason to go this way. Thanks for the quick response and I will look for the book. -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] >For aligning tips, see the Autostar Information page. If you want a >book, get "Using the Meade ETX" (a shameless plug since I wrote it!). > >Mike Weasner
Subject: Updates & Power Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 5:01:34 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Gareth Morris) Am I to assume from posting on your website that the Autostar #494 cannot be updated using the #506 connection kit? Also what specifications are required for powering the ETX70AT from a AC/DC converter plug (the ones that just plug into the mains to power a DC piece of equipment)? I have a few of these at home from various other DC powered gadgets. The voltage on them can be varied from 1.5volts up to 15volts but the output amperage cannot be changed. Basically itís to try to save money on batteries. Regards GarethMike here: You DO need the #506 (from Meade) to update a #494 BUT there is no update currently available for the #494. That's what I meant. As to power supplies, see the Telescope Tech Tips page for lots of power supply info.
Subject: 60AT books Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 13:11:03 From: email@example.com (Tom Poulton) I just bought an ETX-60AT on Ebay (my first telescope) and am awaiting its arrival. In the meantime, I'm now looking for a tripod (I guess it'll be the 883 until I see any reason to upgrade) and I also see some folks trying to sell adapters and CD's along with books on setting the thing up correctly so as to benefit from the finder system. These folks claim that there are all sorts of leveling problems and what not that will make the finder work imprecisely, at best. From what I have read on your page and in other places, however, the finder system is pretty easy to use and effective and so I am wondering whether there is any value to these guides. If so, can you recommend one? Thanks.Mike here: For aligning tips, see the Autostar Information page. If you want a book, get "Using the Meade ETX" (a shameless plug!).
Subject: Connecting a ETX-60At to a Macintosh Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 12:15:44 From: JCoch62579@aol.com Could anyone provide information on how i would go about connecting my ETX-60at to my Macintosh, I've called Meade and they have proven to be less than helpful. Thanks in Advance Jabe CochranMike here: If you have a USB Macintosh you'll need either Keyspan or Belkin serial-to-USB converter. You may also need a DB-9 to mini-8 adapter. If your Mac doesn't have USB then all you'll likely need is the DB-9 to mini-8 adapter. Of course, you'll need software to control the ETX. Right now there is no Autostar update for the #494 Autostar (if that's the one you have) so you won't have to deal with running VirtualPC. For more on this see the article "Update Autostar using a Mac" on the Autostar Information page; while that talks about the update process, you'll get some info on just the physical connections.
Subject: ETX-70AT Woes! Sent: Monday, June 10, 2002 10:23:24 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Todd Parsons) I received an ETX-70AT for Christmas from my fiance this past year. I have a question (obviously, I'm a newbie to astronomy): When I point my scope at Saturn, I can't see anything! It actually looks larger with the naked eye. Could this signify a problem with my scope? I have used the 9mm, 6.7mm and 5mm plossl's with or without the Meade 2X barlow. Any suggestions? Thanks! Todd Parsons Rochester, NY, USAMike here: Well, I doubt that it looks really larger with your naked eye. Were you able to see the Rings? How does the Moon look? Remember, the ETX-70AT is not really a very "powerful" telescope for magnifying the planets.
Subject: Recommended 2.8x barlow for ETX-70AT Sent: Saturday, June 8, 2002 2:15:42 From: email@example.com (Erwin Matys) I recently added an ETX-70AT to my collection. It is a nice and handy travelscope and I like to take it with me on vacations. For higher magnifications with the 70AT, most people seem to use the Meade 2x barlow lens, which is usually sold along with the scope. It leads to a magnification of 78x when used with the 9mm eyepiece of the 70AT. A close comparison of this combination with - a Nagler Type II 4.8mm (73x) - the Meade 9mm with a University Optics 2.8x barlow (109x) revealed the inferior optical quality of the Meade 2x barlow. I suppose nobody will be astonished that the Nagler eyepiece yields excellent views. This eyepiece costs several hundred bucks. Surely this is overkill for an eyepiece to be used with a scope like the ETX-70AT. But the good news is, that the University Optics 2.8x barlow lens gave much better views, too. Despite the higher magnification (lower image brightness) the images look sharper and better defined than with the Meade 2x barlow. I highly recommend the University Optics 2.8x barlow for any ETX-70AT user. It is sold by: University Optics www.universityoptics.com "The Klee barlow" for $79.95 plus p&h ++ Erwin Matys Vienna, Austria
Subject: ETX 70AT problems Sent: Thursday, June 6, 2002 11:37:23 From: PIrish@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us (Irish, Patrick A) I am enjoying exploring your site. It has been very helpful. You are right there is very limited information out there on these fabulous telescopes. I had some problems initially with my 70 but now my scope is just fine and I am enjoying the very few clear nights in Michigan. I am attaching the letter I Faxed and sent to Meade about my problems. I never received a response from them. I am very displeased with how they handled my problems. Oh well now that it is working it is very enjoyable. Keep up the good work! PatrickMike here: Sorry to hear about all your problems though but good to hear that things are OK now.
Subject: ETX 70 Sent: Tuesday, June 4, 2002 19:02:55 From: FWBp70NRC@aol.com Hello i was just wondering if it was possible to take astroimages or ccd images with an ETX-70? Thanks RichMike here: You'll find many such images on my ETX Site.
Subject: Re: 827 Right Angle for ETX70AT Sent: Monday, June 3, 2002 18:42:19 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Carlos Family) I called Meade regarding the 827 right angle being not being able to get in focus. They sent me a new one in place of the one that I bought. This time it works. I can actually see the stars clearly and sharp. It looks like there was a bad batch of 827s. By the way the Meade support line was very helpful and quick to resolve the issue. They sent the piece right away. The right angle helped alot in finding the objects when the Autostar losses alignment every now and then. I'm actually not sure why this happens. I did use Polaris to position the scope north and use a leveler to make sure the scope is leveled at 0degrees. I found this technique very useful and accurate instead of eyeballing or using a compass. Thanks Ed
Subject: Date/Time re-entry Sent: Monday, June 3, 2002 10:08:15 From: email@example.com (Evan Allinger) I'm sorry but this is a stupid question! DO I have to type in the time, date, set the align, and train the drive everytime? And i'm having alot of trouble seeing things through my ETX-70AT. It says its going ti them but i not sure if what i'm seeing if anything is auctuallty what it said i'm seeing! Thanks for the help! -EvanMike here: You only have to enter the Date, Time, and Daylight Savings (yes/no) when powering on. All the rest of the Autostar settings are retained. As to not seeing what you expect to see, that depends upon WHAT you are trying to see. Keep in mind the limitations of the ETX-70AT; you won't see a lot of real faint, small objects.
Subject: HELP! Sent: Sunday, June 2, 2002 18:34:19 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Evan Allinger) I really have some questions! Okay, everytime i turn on my ETX-70AT it never has the right time on it, and it still has the same date even if i put that date in 3 days ago! Why is this? But it will still track the stars for me and i thought it only did that if it knew the correct time!?! And it make a wierd "buzz,grind,crank" noise when i have it locked on a star or planet why is that!?! So do YOU think i should get the 2x barlow lens or the 3x barlow lens? Thanks -EvanMike here: The date and time have to be entered each time you turn it on. It's clock does not run when the ETX is powered off. The noise you hear is the tracking motors. Unless it is really loud, it is normal. I'd suggest the 2X Barlow Lens, although others prefer the 3X.
OH MY GOD! You are a saint! your the god of ETX! I was sooooooo lost with that! and i was constintly worrying about that NOISE! *DOES LITTLE HAPPY DANCE*. anD DICK ALSO TOLD ME THAT THE 2X IS PROBALY THE BETTER CHOICE! -Evan P.S. The time thing tanks again i kept think i was doing something wrong!
Subject: level scope 0 dec Sent: Saturday, June 1, 2002 20:47:43 From: email@example.com (David A Tinney) dave here, i have written a few times and have gotten so much help with you and your etx site. im still using my etx60at and its working wonderfully. i have a question !!!!! just out of curiousity.....when i set up autostar with my scope i know i have to point it north and LEVEL the scope to the 0 on the scale on the side of the scope....i notice that when i set it on 0 its not really level, it is pointing up a bit.....not much but its not level.....then when i use the goto after the scope is aligned, lets say to go to the moon......its goes in the rite direction BUT the scope ends up just a little lower or higher i dont remember now off hand than it suppose to and i have to slew the moon into view.....its not critical but just wanted to know if the scope should be compleatly LEVEL during alignment......maybe ill be dead on or closer if it is......is there a way to align it level with the 0 dec scale?.,,,,,,,,,,thanks for all your help..... DaveMike here: The tube doesn't need to exactly level but accuracy helps. As to scale being off, see the FAQ page.
Subject: re: budget cases for ETX70 Sent: Friday, May 31, 2002 23:11:29 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: email@example.com I carry my ETX90 around in a bright orange, $10 plastic toolbox from Home depot... a little bit of plastic foam sheets (or old T-shirts) inside for padding. But: the ETX70 is -longer- than my ETX90, so it doesn't quite fit in that box. Measure it, and visit lots of discount stores (or Goodwill, used luggage!) looking at the world of plastic cases. have fun --dick (fascinating email address, that)And:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) > Thanks Alot for the help but i'm not sure because as i > said i'm on a budget and i would much rather just buy > a 3x barlow lens first then get a case but i'm not sure I'd recommend a 2x instead of a 3x... any 2x can be turned into a 3x by simply extending the pipe between the barlow and the eyepiece. (i use a piece of bathroom drainpipe "tailstock"). The 3x frequently "overpowers" the ETX70, where a 2x might deliver a nice image. My ETX70 travels around in a soft leatherette carry-bag that was lying around the house (an old "hand-carry" bag). It has side pockets for stuff like the Autostar, eyepieces, power lump. It is *not* a hard-case, so does require a -little- bit of care with regard to bashinginto things... but chunks of corregated cardboard inside the bag can provide additional protection. have fun --dickMike here: I agree; go with the 2X.
And more on a case:
From: email@example.com (Michael) I just had a comment to Evan's question about a cheap case. If your handy with tools, try making your own. Of course, if you're 14 as you said, you should be supervised by someone older while using any power tools. I made my own case for my ETX-70. I made a box from 1/2 inch plywood, with a hinged lid, and heavy-duty suitcase latches and handle. The lid is lined with a 2 inch thick piece of foam. Inside are two stacked 4-inch thick pieces of foam, with cut-outs to fit the telescope, autostar, flashlight, four lenses, two levels, my four lens filter set, and the bolts for my tripod. It's a little heavy, since it's made of wood as opposed to the light plastic cases you can buy; but considering I already had the wood, and I used foam packing that I got from work (I saved it from the trash!), the whole thing cost me about $12 for the hardware. One of these days I've got to get around to painting the thing! Have fun - there's a whole universe just waiting for you. - Michael
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